Mudcat Café message #1367709 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76910   Message #1367709
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
30-Dec-04 - 10:34 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Hell-Bound Train
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HELLBOUND TRAIN (from Lita Ford)
Correction- ElectricScotland provides lyrics of this (not his) song (Hell-Bound Train) under the title "A Drunkard's Dream"....

Norm Cohen, in "Long Steel Rail," pp. 638-644, shows that the roots of "Hell-Bound Train" belong in temperance songs of the 1850s and later such as "Railroad to Hell; or, If You Will, From Dissipation to Poverty, and from Poverty to Desperation." Cohen illustrates an English broadside, but almost identical text was printed in Glasgow, Scotland: Images . Image from Glasgow Broadside Ballads, Murray Collection. The introduction reads "This line begins in a Brewery, and runs through all Public Houses, Dram Shops and Jerry Shops, in a zigzag direction, until it lands in the Kingdom of Hell."
"The Railway to Heaven" was a broadside printed about the same time.

Versions of "Little Black Train," found in both black and white gospel collected around the time of the First World War, is a different song but has the theme of sinners on a train at its roots. (Newman I. White, American Negro Folk Songs; Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs; Carter Family, "Little Black Train")

The following song, sung by Lita Ford, seems to have been inspired by but is very different from "The Hell-Bound Train."

Lyr. Add: HELLBOUND TRAIN (Ford)

Bad luck and trouble
Crashin' through my veins
And I ain't bound for glory
There's a devil in my brain.

Got a fistful of whiskey,
a suitcase full of sin
An' there's a thousand nasty habits
Underneath my skin.

We can fly on wings of the flames
Comin' down hard, only yourself to blame
Playin' so tough in a deadly game
Ain't that a shame.

Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train
Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train

I'm a speed demon baby,
Movin way too fast
You put a dagger through my soul
But you'll never kick my ass, oh, no.

We can fly on the wings of the flames
Comin' down hard, only yourself to blame
Playin' so tough in a deadly game
Ain't that a shame.

Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train
Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train.

Goin' down tonight, I'm Hellbound
Ain't good for nothin', nothin's what I crave
I'm your Angel of darkness
And I'll see you in Hell one day.

We can fly on the wings of the flames
Comin' down hard, only yourself to blame
Playin' so tough in a deadly game
Ain't that a shame.

Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train
Goin' down tonight on a Hellbound train
Goin' down tonight, I'm Hellbound
On a hellbound train.

By Lita Ford, D. Ezrin, M. Grumbacher, M. D. Ehmig and K. Saviger, c. 1991.
Hellbound Train